Bill Montero – Profile of a Legend in Time
Professor Bill Montero was born in Hawaii, in 1913. He became interested in Judo in the early 1930’s and studied at the Shoto Mission in Waipahu and at the Budokai Temple in Palama while still a cadet at Kamehameha Schools (a military academy). In 1935, after hearing that Professor Okazaki was open to teaching Ju Jitsu to all races, he approached him to inquire about training and Professor Okazaki told him to go observe classes at the Army and Navy for Black Belts. When he went there he saw John Kalei Cahill training and was so impressed he asked to become a student. He then began training as one of the first students of John Cahill and later helped start the Hui Mikimiki, a club which was part of the Kodenkan school, and a most respected group. Bill Montero and John Cahill developed a strong friendship that continued long after they all had moved to the mainland.
In 1943 Bill Montero was promoted to Third Degree (sandan) by Professor Okazaki. He was also awarded his Moku-Roku (Instructor Scroll). This certificate was awarded only to those black belts deemed ready to be instructors and included the personal and professional history of Professor Okazaki as well as a list of the arts, and Esoteric Principles of Danzan Ryu. Additionally, that year, Bill Montero received his Nikko Restoration Massage certificate from Professor Okazaki.
In 1949, John Cahill, suggested that Bill Montero start a school of his own with his blessing. In May of 1949 Bill Montero moved with his family to San Jose, CA and later that year founded Pacific Judo Academy, a successful school that was to endure under his direct leadership for more than 32 years. The school taught Ju Jitsu for self defense and Judo as a competitive sport, which produced regional and national level champions. Later he applied to and was accepted by the California Physical Therapist Association as the first Hawaiian qualified to practice Physio Therapy. Around the same time he was asked to join the ranks of four professors: Ray Law, Bud Estes, Rick Rickert, and John Cahill which became the heartbeat of the organization that is known today as the American Judo and Jujitsu Federation.
In 1958 Professor Montero was commissioned by Santa Clara County, CA to work in their rehabilitation program helping children with walking difficulties. With Nikko Restorative Massage and medical gymnastics, he was able to help many youngsters – some of which became students at the Pacific Judo Academy. He continued to teach physiology and anatomy to students who were interested in supplementing their knowledge of Danzan Ryu with a working understanding of Nikko Restoration Massage. Many of those students became successful practicing Licensed Massage Therapists.
In the early 60’s, Professor Montero revived the science of Bokendo as part of Pacific Judo Academy’s program. This art had been taught to a few of Professor Okazaki’s students in the early 30’s. Among the fortunate few to learn this highly sophisticated art, along with himself, were, John Cahill, Sonny Chang and Mark Spencer. During the 60’s and 70’s he taught Bokendo, as well as the proper use of the baton, to the riot control units of many police departments in Santa Clara County.
Professor Montero retired from the Lockheed Missiles & Space Division in 1981 and moved to Colorado Springs, CO. He continued to hold seminars and clinics for his black belts in the arts of Danzan Ryu Ju Jitsu, Bokendo and Nikko Restorative Massage until the time of his death in 1992. By that time he had earned his 10th Degree Black Belt (Judan) in Danzan Ryu Ju Jitsu and 4th Degree Black Belt (yodan) in Judo. He was awarded the title of Dai-Shihan.
So end the Chronicles of William L. Montero, a Legend in his Own Time